Written by Michael Martz
14 October 2010
As I’ve just returned from a trip to Scotland, what topic could be timelier than international EDI? It was tough enough communicating over there with both ‘sender’ and ‘receiver’ using English (we figured that if we could identify one out of five words being spoken to us, we stood a good chance of figuring out the message. That’s generally not a good approach in business). It’s exponentially more difficult when two different languages are involved. The good news is that there are already standard ‘languages’, such as X.12, EDIFACT, and XML, that can streamline the process of document exchange between partners across the world.
We didn’t do a lot of international EDI at my previous employer, but we did enough to have allowed us to identify areas of special concern when dealing with partners outside the USA. The beauty of EDI is that there’s usually a document for everything, and as long as there’s agreement on the standards, you can make some progress. That doesn’t mean it’ll be easy. As I mentioned in the past, most of our work was in connecting to customers who wanted to execute the order to pay process electronically with us. Doing that with an international customer in theory should be no different, but there are a few caveats:
- The obvious first question is…
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